Gareth Steenson is hoping to help boot Exeter to Gallagher Premiership glory after the veteran out-half secured a short-term contract extension that will see him play out the remainder of the 2019/20 season with the club. 

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The 36-year-old Irishman was due to retire from playing in June. However, the stoppage of the season due to the coronavirus pandemic has meant Exeter won’t resume their title challenge until the middle of August.

With Steenson set to join the club’s coaching staff in 2020/21, Rob Baxter has decided to keep him available on his playing roster as Exeter prepare to pick up the thread of a season that still has nine regular-season league games and a Champions Cup quarter-final left to play.  

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Delighted to get the chance to get another run in the Exeter colours, Steenson said: “I’m thrilled about the new deal. Obviously, it’s been a strange time for us all. Being at home, training on an individual basis, not knowing if I was going to come back playing again. It’s nice to know I will get the chance to finish off what we started.”

“I’m incredibly fortunate. I’m sitting here at the age I am, still doing what I love. I have had some incredible days here. I was very fortunate that I had a testimonial game a few years ago and the number of people who turned out that day, those bits and pieces I have on the back burner.

“If I don’t get another opportunity to run out in front of a full Sandy Park, it will be disappointing, but it is something I can live with. I’ve been very lucky, like I said, and I know there are guys out there who had things taken away from them, so for me, I can’t really have any complaints.

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“Personally, I’m really excited to have the chance to finish this season off and be in a position where I can finish this season off. Obviously, with the whole Covid thing coming in, it’s maybe taken the options away of having crowds come in. 

“If that’s the case, I’ve had big days and I can still have an opportunity of winning a couple of titles before I go, which will be incredible. That’s a real big driver for me now and to be part of the squad trying to do that is great.”

 

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